Thursday, June 7, 2018

Blog Tour: Looking for Dei by David A. Willson (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Title: Looking for Dei
Author: David A. Willson
Publisher: Seeker Press
Publication Date: March 22, 2018

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

About the Author: David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers. Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction—not necessarily in that order. Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place.

Guest Post: How to Make Magic Unique

This is such an important part of fantasy novels. You can do a lot of things wrong in a novel, but if you spark the imagination of the reader, taking them to a new world, you have won half the battle. Fantasy readers love the escape, we love the journey to an entirely new place. Traditional authors, especially when they write in a contemporary setting, can research existing culture, technology, and political climates in order to build their story. Fantasy authors don't have that luxury. This is a tall order, requiring us to construct a new world, inventing new systems of politics, religion, and culture. Then we have one other task: we write about magic, and we better do it well.

I think an essential part of a good magic system is that it has to make sense. It has to work. Just saying, 'abracadabra' isn't going to satisfy the astute readers who consume these types of stories. Having some training in math and science helps with this, allowing an author to think logically in developing a system that the reader can respect. It's also important to tie that system into the story, allowing its characteristics to be revealed gradually as the plot progresses. If you can be in the head of the protagonist as they discover the magic, exploring the system as the tale develops, it further increases the joy of the reader.

Not only should it make sense and follow consistent principles, but it needs to be personal. It needs to be an essential part of a person. Magic that is simply throwing some colored powder about and saying fancy words isn't personal. I like how J.K. Rowling used wands to make magic personal. I was thrilled with how Patrick Rothfuss used hard work and study to make magic personal. Best of all, I liked Tolkien's individual quest to defeat evil, and a magic that changed a person at a core level like the ring did to Bilbo.

I've often found myself applying the magic that I've read about to my own life, wondering as I commuted to work what it would be like to burn metal like Sanderson's Mistborn novels, or to have my very own shardblade. I've wondered what it would be like to have powers like Kelson in Katherine Kurtz' Deryni series or to be running from evil while I carried the One Ring.

Fantasy readers are a special lot, with incredible imaginations and a profound desire for adventure. They buy books that they hope will enchant them, and magic is a big part of that. We dare not disappoint!


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-Kristen ♥


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